Factory releases images of 660 twin-powered adventure machine
It’s been one of the worst-kept secrets in biking over the past couple of years – but here’s the first official imagery of the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660. The firm initally announced the bike at the EICMA show back in 2019 – and actually had the ‘bike’ hidden inside a clear plastic box full of fake jungle plants (we’re not making this up, honest) on its stand.
The basic plan was obvious enough: take the firm’s award-winning RS660 twin cylinder engine, bolt it into a dual-purpose adventure bike chassis, add a dash of Aprilia styling and give it the legendary Tuareg name off the firm’s previous big traillies. Then count the cash as it flooded in from grateful middleweight-ADV fans bored with Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 and BMW’s F750/850 GS range.
And here it is, out of its leafy box. And doesn’t it look pretty? The specs are fairly scant at the moment, but we do have a power figure – 80bhp – and torque – 70Nm – which points to a motor that’s retuned from the RS660 for less peak power and more midrange heft. The firm also reckons it’s altered the sump installation for more ground clearance on this application (the Tuareg has a decent 240mm of clearance).
On the chassis front, there’s a hybrid frae with steel tube trellis section and cast aluminium swingarm plates, with an alloy swingarm. The engine is a structural member too, with six attachment points, and the wheelbase is 1,500mm.
Suspension is conventional enough: 43mm USD front forks and a progressive monoshock linkage out back are adjustable and optimised for offroad duties, while the brakes are by Brembo: dual twin piston sliding calipers up front and single-piston on the rear. Add in an 18-litre fuel tank and you have a pretty solid chassis spec sheet – especially with a claimed mass of just 187kg dry.
Aprilia always pays close attention to the electronics package on its bikes, and the Tuareg is no exception. The APRC system on board offers four riding modes, two customisable and one dedicated off-road setting. The ABS can be switched off on just the rear, or completely, for off-road riding, and there’s full traction control, cruise control, engine braking and engine mapping customisation, all accessed via the 5” TFT LCD screen and Aprilia’s excellent switchgear.
No word on price as yet from Aprilia, but we’d expect it to have the usual premium over the likes of the Ténéré 700, but add in the strong electronics package, slightly shorter seat height and above-average power (80bhp for the Tuareg vs 73bhp on the Yamaha) and it should be decent value.
More info: www.aprilia.com
Original Tuareg Boxout
The Tuareg people are a large group of Berbers, who have traditionally lived in the Sahara desert areas of north Africa. And Aprilia borrowed their name for its first Tuareg 600 – a 562cc air-cooled single trailbike, with Paris-Dakar racebike styling, and a 45bhp engine built in association with Rotax. It was a bit of a niche machine in the UK when launched in 1988, but was much more popular in Italy, France and Spain. It was updated in 1990 but discontinued in 1992.